By: Ross Martin
Only three seniors were on the roster for Odessa while producing a third-place finish in Class 2 District 3 a year ago. Two of them qualified for state and one accounted for a somewhat unexpected medal when the top three teams in the final standings remained the same a week later in the Class 2 Missouri State Wrestling Championships.
Odessa’s third-place state finish earned the first team trophy for the program since 2013, and the returners in place along with a solid freshman class provides reason to believe the Bulldogs can equal or better that showing.
“We have high hopes for every season, but I think this season is particularly unique,” Odessa coach Kirk Gross said. “We have really tried to focus on the process and not the product. We don’t talk a lot about winning conference or state; we talk mostly about being a great teammate and having a great practice. There are a lot of great teams and wrestlers out there this year so we have to get better and I think we have.”